From The Atelier: Another Corset Design

Silk boning channels, cording, and soon-to-be-flossed 1890s beauty. <3


The above corset is patterned off an original in our collection and as such, it’s full of curves and not “sausage-like” like commercial patterns, which tend to look like a tube, pushing the bust higher and the lower stomach down to create a waist, which is not the Victorian ideal!

The Victorian ideal is a more sculpted, contoured look that lifts but contains the bust- not pushing it up and out like so many historical enthusiasts seem to love. Also, the push-up-and-out is a modernism, probably from the torture of improperly worn 1950s and 60s shapewear…which sculpted the body in other ways. Corsetry in the late 19th century were lightweight shaped garments which were offered in plain or highly decorative styles in silks and embroideries…very different from the modern “Victorian”-esque versions that are sold at public events or made in craft classes from bulky materials and poorly designed shapes.

Victorian corsetry is a different science entirely- it’s about proportion and contour. The bust and hips are emphasized, which helps the look smaller FROM THE FRONT. From the side, the physical changes are shown. The waist may even appear larger, it’s because the flesh is displaced differently from au naturel. Hip pads and bustles were used to even out those new proportions, each shape according to the mode de courant.

A poorly designed and constructed corset (then and now!) is not only uncomfortable but it can also lead to severe muscle cramping, soreness, and even severe bruising. Early advertising railed against the perils and moral outrage of corsetry, societies dedicated to the “natural shape” of womanhood, medical groups swore that female organs would be moved and damaged… all seemed to reach the opposite goal…that corsetry was as popular then as it is today!

 “Isn’t wearing that corset uncomfortable?”

Not when you wear a beautifully designed and constructed corset that has been fitted to the individual…we offer custom, bespoke, and couture levels of design.  There are cheaper alternatives out there but they come at a price: poor designs, materials, and construction. Commercially produced off-the-rack corsets are designed for to fit “average” body types, even though no one is average. Our years of experience have taught us that we prefer to celebrate the human form by reshaping it with exquisite contours, a different approach entirely. It’s not a competition, wearing one of our corsets is a new way of personal self-expression.

So what’s underneath YOUR Lily Absinthe gown? An exquisite Lily Absinthe corset, of course. <3


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